if ART Gallery will present two simultaneous solo exhibitions, December 9 – 20, 2011, at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street, Columbia, SC: Jeff Donovan: Gray Matters and Marcelo Novo: Materia Gris. The artist’s reception is Friday, November 9, 5 – 9 p.m.
Donovan will present new paintings and Novo, new paintings and prints created since his move last year from Columbia to Washington, DC. In both cases, many of new works by the artists are dominated by shades of gray as well as black and white, though certain works will have a wider range of colors. The titles for the exhibitions refer to both the dominance of grays in many of the work and to matters of the brain. It is, after all, the quirky workings of Donovan’s and Novo’s brains that provide an impetus for their typically unusual imagery with a Surrealist or Magic Realist bend.
Novo’s exhibition will be his first one in Columbia since his move in September 2011, and as such represents his return to Columbia. Before his move, Novo had a very successful studio sale. Donovan’s exhibition will be his third solo show since January 2010, when if ART organized a 30-year retrospective of his work at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. The retrospective was followed by a smaller post-retrospective exhibition at if ART Gallery in August, 2010. Both exhibitions set sales records for Donovan, who in 2010 had his best year to date in terms of sales.
Since his move to DC, Novo (b. 1963) has had exhibitions in two DC-area restaurants. He currently is in an exhibition of Argentine art in the Argentine embassy in DC, where he will open a solo exhibition on November 30. He also was part of a Day of the Dead exhibition at the Torpedo Factory in Arlington, Va. Novo has produced a series of prints at the Lee Arts Center in Arlington, Va., and took a studio at the Columbia Pike Artists Studios in Arlington.
Buenos Aires native Novo in 1992 moved from Argentina to Columbia, S.C. , where he quickly established himself as on of the areas most prominent artist through scores of solo and group exhibitions in the city. Novo also has been in dozens of exhibitions along the East Coast, including a show at New York City’s Cinque Gallery. Novo’s 10-year retrospective was at the Sumter (S.C.) Gallery of Art in 2003. In April – May, 2008, “Marcelo Novo: Buenos Aires/Columbia, SC, 1985-1994” was at if ART Gallery. Novo will be included in the book 100 Southern Artists, to be published in 2012. The book is an anthology of 100 artists from South and North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia.
Donovan (b. 1957), too, will be in 100 Southern Artists, which altogether will include 20 artists from if ART Gallery. Donovan has been on the Columbia art scene for three decades. He has exhibited widely and often throughout the Carolinas. The Columbia Museum of Art in 2009 acquired Donovan’s sculpture Dream Boater. Donovan was born in Millford, Del. He studied at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Fla., and the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C., where he studied with Christina Cordova.